First Montreal Halal Guys restaurant stirs up language controversy
The first Halal Guys restaurant is open in Montreal, creating a lot of buzz in the city.
But its English-only signs are firing up some people who insist the province’s laws dictate everything must be written in French.
When the restaurant’s owners announced the franchise would be coming to Canada, people on social media started to point out that the signage would need to be translated to French at its Quebec locations.
Owner Lu-Uy Tran argued the restaurant’s signs are a trademark and can’t be changed.
“We are totally OQLF compliant,” he told Global News.
“The only thing, right now, that is in English is the signs in the front of the building. that’s because of logistics, but it’s coming down.”
Despite the comments on the Halal Guys’ Facebook page, Tran insisted the restaurant complies with the province’s language laws.
Clients told Global News Tuesday they’re more interested in the food than the signs.
“If the Halal Guys is a registered trademark in Canada and is only in English, people should not complain,” said Harold Staviss, an English-rights activist.
“They’re putting ‘le restaurant’ before [the logo], their menus are bilingual and I think people should be happy that the retailer is coming.”
Global News reached out to the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) for comment, but representatives declined the request for interview.
Tran said he doesn’t expect a visit from OQLF officials anytime soon.
Nevertheless, the franchise owner is adamant he is complying with their rules.
© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.